You can save real money on a Walt Disney World Resort vacation by taking advantage of the following money-saving programs. Some require a membership fee, but they often pay for themselves quite quickly.
Disney Rewards Visa Card—This credit card from Chase gives cardholders special discounts on Disney resorts, packages, and tours, plus onboard credits on the Disney cruise. The card itself has a $49 annual fee and earns “Disney Dream Reward Dollars” equal to 1% or more of your purchases. You can redeem your dollars relatively quickly for Disney travel, entertainment, and merchandise. Exclusive cardholder benefits are also typically offered, such as special character meet and greets. Another perk is the “pay no interest for 6 months” offer on Disney packages and cruises, but keep in mind initial deposits and all payments must be made with the card or you can lose the deal. Be sure to read the fine print carefully, too—if you carry a separate balance while floating a 0% vacation deal, your payments may apply to the higher interest balance first and you could end up paying some steep interest. Also, double-check exactly when you need to pay off the balance and be careful about confusing terminology. We used to have a Disney Visa ourselves and we think the “rewards” are just average, interest rates are high, and the available discounts are sparse (but attractive when offered). Disney Rewards Visa is available to U.S. residents only. If you have a Disney Rewards Visa, be sure to mention this when making reservations so they can offer any available incentives or deals. There’s also a Chase Visa Rewards Disney debit card which offers some theme park benefits (but no longer earns Reward Dollars)—this card is available to those who bank with Chase. For details, visit DisneyRewards.com or call 877-252-6576. Also see our in-depth article on the Disney Visa credit card.
Annual Pass (AP)—An Annual Pass (regular or premium) saves big money on admission if you plan to visit for more than 10–14 days in a one-year period (depending on the pass)—this is the point at which it becomes less expensive than regular admission. It may also deliver discounts at selected resorts, meals, tours, and ticketed events, plus invitations to special events. And let’s not forget Tables in Wonderland eligibility (see below). Florida residents can pay for their Annual Pass in monthly installments without extra fees. See page 122 for details and call 407-WDW-MAGIC for prices.
Florida Residents—Those of you with proof of Florida residency (such as a valid Florida driver’s license) can enjoy great savings on Disney tickets, resorts, cruises, and more. The deals are so good we’re almost tempted to move to Florida. For more information, visit the Florida Residents page.
Tables in Wonderland—This program offers 20% discounts on food and alcohol (for up to 10 persons, paying with one credit card or with cash) at most Disney eateries, plus free theme park parking after 5:00 pm, and free resort valet parking when dining at the resort. Available to Annual and Seasonal Passholders, DVC members, and Florida residents ages 21 and up with a valid Florida driver’s license or ID card. Membership is $150/year for Premium Annual Passholders and DVC members and $175/year for Florida residents. A second membership for your spouse or partner is $50/year. Call 407-566-5858 to order (allow 4–6 weeks, or request a confirmation letter if traveling within 6 weeks). The card is also available for purchase at Guest Services at each theme park. This discount program cannot be combined with any other discount or package, and there are some blackout dates (e.g., major holidays like Mother’s Day, Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve/Day, and New Year’s Eve/ Day). An 18% gratuity is added to all Tables in Wonderland transactions, regardless of party size. The person whose name is on the card must be present for the discount to be applied.
Free Disney Dining Plan—Walt Disney World sporadically offers "free dining" during low seasons (it has been offered every year since 2006). Disney is offering free Disney Dining Plans for select dates in 2018 (dates between 8/10/18 and 12/23/18), but there are restrictions and you must book by July 7, 2018. For details on future offers, keep an eye on our newsletter for updates, and visit DisneyWorld.com or your travel agent for details.
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